Pattern Organization…the quest for order.

I finally understand why others have put to use a form of pattern organization that involves a system of  numerical filing and cataloguing.  It is probably because this system makes it easy to retrieve and find patterns quickly.

You may remember, last year, I attempted a digital filing system…here.  It didn’t work for me.  I still ended up searching around for patterns when working with a customer.  I didn’t have a way for them to peruse my pattern inventory. Ideas come from everywhere, as to what to make, however, finding a pattern that might work was difficult to say the least. 

IMG_0400It was like going through a rummage sale.

As new patterns come in, and old ones removed from the files..this is what would happen.  Another basket of misplaced patterns.


A thanks to those who believed in me, in the chance that I had found the system which would work for me.  Failure isn’t what I feel, just another lesson learned about myself.  I must retract my position on the numerical system of filing utilized by Victoria.

I also understand now, more than ever, the importance of taking good care of my patterns..they are priceless.  I know now, that I would be sewing much more if I had my patterns in order.  Whenever I get an idea for a garment from the web, Pinterest or Pattern Review, I would normally go looking for the related pattern.  However, to my dismay, its no where to be found, or I don’t have it…or so I thought….until I have just one too many of the same pattern.

Duplicates abound, because I didn’t know I had the pattern, and thus, went out and bought another with good intentions.  Only for me, by the time I go through all that work, I’m no longer interested, because a new work of art has presented itself.  And so the journey begins anew.

As with any organization trek, I become hyper focused, whether it be my home office, my sewing room, my kitchen, my closet or even the garage… I mean to get it done!!!  I am absolutely unproductive when my surroundings are in disarray. 

I have gone from a nice 360sq.ft. loft, to a  studio in River Oaks  to a small 11×12 bedroom in North Houston…the difference is not good. I am cramming all I can into a really small space.


Thus, pattern organization is on the top of the list…because, when I work with patterns, I want to keep up with them.

All that to say, this new system is underway..and happily I might add, really seems worth it.  I should have done this in the first place.  I like having a binder to look at all my patterns, as with a catalogue. 


Having the patterns filed away neatly in 6×9” envelopes may seem costly, but, I made sure to get these in bulk. 


I got the Brimnes dresser from Ikea, and made sure it was going to hold the envelopes sitting upright, thus, storing more per drawer. I did not like the commercial filing cabinet, and besides, it was too deep for my space.


My fabric stash will have a home in my Elfa system from The Container Store. I use these all around the house.  They are much sturdier and glide better than the Ikea brand.  They have stood the test of time for me.

Continuing on with the patterns…I’m making progress.  I will keep you posted as the verdict unfolds on my new and improved system.

Until then….



Pattern Review- Simplicity 2406 and a happy customer..

I think this may be a sign of a very happy customer.  My sis is really loving her new dress.  You see, I have not sewn for her in so long, she was just giddy as can be after getting into her dress.  She even came over already styled to the “T” ready to put in on and go have fun. 
I am always glad to ablige.  It is such a joy to sew for my sis and my Mom.  So, I think inside I was grinning just at much has she.  I used the Simplicity 2406 pattern.  Here you will see my pattern review.

Pattern Description: Misses’ dress in three lengths with sleeve variations by Cynthia Rowley.
Pattern Sizing:
6-14 and up. I made a size 14 for my sister.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
It really did look the same as the envelope. As for the length, my sister is 5’2″, so the short length worked for her with a 1 1/4″ hem, for anyone taller, beware, the dress is short.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
The pattern instructions were spot on….however, a disclaimer…you MUST layout the pattern pieces for the sleeves “exactly” as shown on the instruction sheet, or you will put them in wrong. I didn’t have a problem, however, for a beginner, again I repeat, layout the pieces as instructed…and make sure to clearly mark all dots and sewing points.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I did not like the use of a thread loop for the closure. I used a hook and eye. The button thing is old school to me, RTW used the hook and eye on most things like this…at least the ones I have seen.

Fabric Used:
My sister was very, very happy with the fabric selection and the color. We found this silky poly woven at Hancock, last on the bolt. So we had to save fabric by lining the “self lined” sleeves with regular lining fabric.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I sewed the pattern as shown, minus the pockets and plus underlining because of the sheerness of the fabric. For the hem, the dress and lining were folded up as one and machine blindstitched to the lining.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will be making the same dress for myself…maybe with pockets. These sleeves are the best design detail about this dress. I love the sleeves.

My sis was extremely happy with the outcome of the dress. She participated in the construction the best she could, under my direct hand-holding instruction.. (This is the requirement when sewing for my family, is for them to help. Or else, they may very well be waiting as much as years to get there outfits.) LOL!! They know the drill.

McCalls 6112 and A Pre-school Graduation

My granddaughter graduated today from preschool…on her way to the big “K” for Kindergarten. Wow! I’m not old, so don’t go there.
 I wore my new dress, a 3 hour wonder from McCalls.  Love it, and it is so very comfortable.  I dressed it up with a belt, which was too much for my taste.  But either way, if I change the heels, it will be a night out if I want.  So, basically a success.

Pattern Description: McCalls 6112
MISSES’ DRESSES IN TWO LENGTHS AND CAMISOLE: Pattern Sizing: I cut a size 14. I used the skirt from view C and the top from view A
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, the dress looked the same..however, the front is a little long on me, since I’m shorter from shoulder to bust point.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Extremely easy to follow. However, for the binding I chose to use the “Neckline Finishes for Knits,” in the April/May 2003 issue of Threads (#106 to bind the back neck edge and the arms. Instead of just folding over the binding and stitching, I trimmed one side of it to 1/4″ and then folded it completely to the inside of the arm and neck so it would lie flat to the inside, then edgestitched it in place.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love how it fits me. The shoulder and back is balanced.
Fabric Used:
Polyester knit.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

For the drape, I folded it over and sewed a 3/8″ hem in it, then I attached a little 1×1″ pouch with a penny inserted for weight. I used a double needle, with a .5 zigzag for the hem.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Absolutely!! I love this dress. I feel dressed up but down whilst working around the house. I do not like jeans in summer.
Conclusion: This is a great dress. With just a slight change in fabrication, you can create a host of variations for any occassion.